Trademark Opposition

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Trademark Opposition: A Complete Guide

Updated on June 30, 2023 10:24:42 AM

Trademark opposition comes into the frame when your trademark gets accepted and advertised. This is a stage at which the general public or any party which requires that your trademark should not be listed opposes it. The stage of opposition is a crucial stage because in this stage your trademark may get rejected or abandoned. In this post, you will get a complete guide about what is opposition, the process of opposition, and many more.

What is Trademark opposition?

Trademark applicant files an application for trademark registration in the respective form along with the requisite fee. After the receipt of the application, the trademark officer scrutinises the application for any defects or incompleteness and also satisfies himself that the trademark applied for does not fall under the grounds prescribed under section 9 or section 11 of the trademark act 1999. If the examiner is satisfied that the respective trademark is unique and does not fall under the relevant sections of the act he will accept the trademark and the required trademark will get accepted and advertised.

At this stage, your trademark is open to get opposed by the general public or any party concerned. If any party, irrespective of the interest in the trademark files any opposition then your trademark gets opposed.

This is called trademark opposition. It should be noted that the general public may file their opposition within 4 months from the date on which your trademark gets accepted and advertised in the trademark journal.

Eligibility for filing a trademark opposition

According to Section 21 of The Trade Marks Act, 1999, any person can oppose the registration of a trademark within four months from the date of advertisement of an application for registration. They can do this by submitting a written notice to the Registrar in the prescribed manner, along with the prescribed fee. The opposition can be raised if the trademark is similar to their own trademark or if there are other valid legal grounds to opposition.

Multiple individuals or groups can collectively file an opposition against registering a particular trademark if they have similar concerns. For instance, if someone applies to trademark the word "DELHI," several people, groups, or organisations can join together to oppose the registration of the trademark.

Grounds for trademark opposition

Trademark opposition can be filed by anyone, but it is important to understand the grounds on which it can be raised. There are the following grounds on which trademark opposition can be filed:

Process for Trademark Opposition

The trademark opposition process in India can be summarised in the following points:

{Note: The infringer will also be accountable for punishment in case the trademark they use is not yet registered.}


Trademark opposition is an important stage in the trademark registration process in India, as it allows any person to raise oppositions against a trademark that has been accepted and advertised in trademark journal. Any person can file an opposition to a trademark within four months of its publication in the Trademark Journal, based on several grounds such as similarity to an existing registered trademark, lack of distinctive character, descriptive in nature, bad faith application, and more. The opposition process involves several steps such as examination of the opposition, filing of counter-statement, providing evidence, hearing, and a decision by the Registrar. If either party is dissatisfied with the decision, they can file an appeal before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB). It is important to understand the process and seek legal assistance to ensure successful trademark registration.

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Frequently Asked Questions

 What are the fees for trademark opposition?

 How long is the opposition period for a trademark?

 What happens if you lose a trademark opposition?

 Who can file trademark opposition?